A Nigerian-born medical doctor, Dr. Chris Uzoh, has been banned from practice in UK for 12 months after he was found guilty of pestering a patient for romantic relationship for six weeks.
Dr Uzoh, a father of two, has since quit the UK before his suspension by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester. He is said to have relocated to Toronto, Canada where he now works.
Dr Uzoh’s journey to suspension started between March and May last year when the woman was booked in for an appointment with him after complaining of abdominal pain, Daily Mail reports.
The British tabloid reported that the woman – known as Patient A – told the hearing: ‘I was really shocked to get that initial message from him because I trusted him as a doctor.
‘If I got that message now there is no way I would respond. I was in a difficult position particularly at that point so seeing him taking an interest was a nice thing.
‘The next morning I woke up and there was a further text message and voicemail message.
‘I remember I was doing my make up and getting ready for work and I saw that he was calling but I didn’t want to pick up. He left a message saying: ‘Hi, I just wanted to hear your voice before I start my day’.
‘Everyday I looked at my phone there was something from him whether it be a text message, missed call or a voicemail message.
‘As soon as I knew the flowers had been sent I knew that they would be from Dr Uzoh – there weren’t many people who knew my address at the time.
‘I felt sick because I live on my own and nobody knew my address apart from my family and I was scared because he had got my records so what was to say he wouldn’t turn up at my door.
‘That feeling lasted several months. It wasn’t long after that I text him to tell him not to contact me but then five months later he contacted me again.”
The report quoted Christopher Hamlet, the lawyer for the GMC as saying: ‘She had not given him her number or any indication that she wished to be contacted by him.
‘He obtained her number by looking at her medical records and sent a series of text messages, some consecutive in number and all sent in pursuit of a personal relationship which was sexually motivated.
‘Patient A was at the time vulnerable. She claims at first she was flattered by these messages, however, in due course he went on to bombard her with messages, voicemails and even sent flowers to her home address.
‘She said she felt sick about what happened and was concerned and scared that he had accessed her records and sent flowers to her home.’
It said Uzoh was not at the tribunal but filed a written submission claiming his intentions towards the woman were ‘noble,’ saying: ‘My intention was not to prey on the patient or the patient’s vulnerability. I have always been professional toward my patients and never had any issues with NHS England or the GMC. I regret my actions and I apologise for all the stress this may have caused the patient.’
According to the report, the chairman of the panel, Mrs Jayne Wheat said: ‘It is important that patients have trust in their doctors and in the confidential nature of their medical records, and it is seriously improper for a doctor to seek to pursue a relationship of this kind with a patient, the more so when he persists in it beyond the point when the patient has made clear that his approaches are unwelcome.
‘While the tribunal has found that Dr Uzoh’s behaviour was sexually motivated, there was no evidence that his intentions were obscene or unlawful.’